The Buddha gives a teaching to Subhadda the wanderer, leading him to enlightenment, making him the last of the Buddha's direct disciples
When Ananda had gotten over his grief and crying he went into the city on the Buddha's orders and announced to the Mallian lords of Kusinara that the Buddha was going to pass away at the end of this very night. He announced that whoever wanted to see the Buddha should hurry, so as not to be one who regrets later on.
The Mallian lords who were meeting in the town, when they heard the news of the Buddha's passing away, proceeded in great number with offerings to the Buddha, each of them weeping and expressing his grief in various ways.
Among those who went to see the Buddha was a wanderer named Subhadda. He was a monk from another religion.
Subhadda the wanderer approached the Buddha after the Mallian lords had done so, and told Ananda that he wanted to see the Buddha to ask some questions that had been plaguing him for a long time. Ananda refused to allow him in, saying that the Buddha was not to be disturbed as the time for his passing away was approaching.
At that time the Buddha heard the conversation between Ananda and Subhadda the wanderer, and told Ananda to allow Subhadda to approach him. Getting the opportunity to approach the Buddha, Subhadda asked the questions that had been bothering him. One of the questions was whether there were people who attained the Path and Fruit (enlightenment) outside of Buddhism or not. The Buddha answered that there were not, then he gave a detailed teaching.
On listening to the teaching Subhadda the wanderer was filled with faith and asked to become a monk under the Buddha. The Buddha told him that normally for people coming from other religions there was a probationary period to undergo for four months before they could become monks. Subhadda answered that he would be willing to live under such a probation for four years, not just four months.
The Buddha then gave special permission, having the Order ordain Subhadda the wanderer on that very day. Subhadda the wanderer was thus the last direct disciple of the Buddha.
Copyright © 2002 Mahidol
University All rights reserved.